Study: Scrapping ObamaCare mandate would have little impact

Scrapping the ObamaCare mandate for employers to provide insurance would have little impact on the number of people with coverage, according to a new study.

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The nonpartisan Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which conducts health policy research, found eliminating the controversial requirement would result in about 200,000 fewer people having health insurance in 2016.

With the mandate, about 251.1 million people would have coverage, the study found. If the mandate were eliminated, the projected total drops to 250.9 million.

The Obama administration has twice delayed the employer mandate in response to pressure from industry groups, which argue the requirements would force companies to shed workers and move more people into part-time positions.

The mandate requires employers to provide health insurance coverage to 95 percent of full-time workers or face penalties. As it currently stands, companies with 50 to 99 employees will need to follow the mandate starting in 2016, and those with a hundred or more employees need to start providing coverage starting next year.

Researches noted that scrapping the mandate also would erase about $130 billion of the revenue that pays for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), because employers would not be forced to pay a penalty for not providing insurance.

“Reaching political agreement on new sources of revenue is never an easy task; however, the policy tradeoffs are straightforward,” said the authors of the report.

“Concerns over labor market distortions and employer financial burdens related to the ACA’s employer penalties can be eliminated with little relative impact on overall insurance coverage or the distribution of that coverage; the cost is agreeing upon an alternative source of $130 billion in federal revenue over 10 years.”